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Sonoma: Practice 1 times

Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay led the way in the first official practice session for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in California.
Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay was narrowly ahead at the end of the first 45 minute practice session at Sonoma Raceway on Friday morning, after posting a lap of 1:18.6814s during the 45 minute session. That was just 0.0162s ahead of Penske's Helio Castroneves, while Dario Franchitti - who topped the times in the mid-week open test attended by all 25 drivers on Wednesday - was third fastest on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course.

"We're working so hard to close the gap to the championship points lead so we're looking to make big gains this weekend," said Hunter-Reay, who hasn't finished better than eighth place at Sonoma in the past.

There were no significant incidents, although there was a three minute red flag midway through the session after a tyre became dislodged at turn 9 and needed to be retrieved. Ryan Briscoe has a minor scare ten minutes into the session when he reported hitting a kerb hard in the #4 Panther Racing car and decided to return to the pits for a checkover, but he was soon back out on track and continuing his programme.

Lynne Huntting of PressSnoop.com reports from trackside that the sun came full out well before the start of the session and that the temperatures climbed to the low sixties Fahrenheit with a desultory breeze. Some of the drivers turned just a few laps and quickly pitted in line with a wait-and-see tactic, while Dragon's Sebastian Saavedra ran the most laps with 17 in the books by the chequered flag.

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's IndyCar rookie Lucas Luhr tested his limits in the #97 car with a harmless spin in turn seven, which Brembo Brakes calculates is the most difficult corner at Sonoma Raceway for IndyCars compared with NASCAR which views turn 11 as the hardest corner in the Sprint Cup configuration of the track. Luhr went on to run eleven laps and finished last for the session of the 25 cars.

There's a further 45 minute practice session on Friday afternoon and a third on Saturday morning before qualifying in the afternoon for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. A half-hour warm-up on Sunday morning precedes the race itself which gets underway at around 1.45pm California time (9.45pm BST)

Practice 1 times

1. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) 109.124mph 1:18.6814s (6 laps)
2. #3 Helio Castroneves (C) 109.101mph 1:18.6976s + 0.0162s (7 laps)
3. #10 Dario Franchitti (H) 108.942mph 1:18.8124s + 0.1310s (7 laps)
4. #25 Marco Andretti (C) 108.719mph 1:18.9740s + 0.2926s (5 laps)
5. #4 Ryan Briscoe (C) 108.659mph 1:19.0182s + 0.3368s (12 laps)
6. #19 Justin Wilson (H) 108.640mph 1:19.0318s + 0.3504s (12 laps)
7. #7 Sebastien Bourdais (C) 108.569mph 1:19.0834s + 0.4020s (8 laps)
8. #5 EJ Viso (C) 108.549mph 1:19.0976s + 0.4162s (7 laps)
9. #98 JR Hildebrand (H) 108.468mph 1:19.1567s + 0.4753s (15 laps)
10. #27 James Hinchcliffe (C) 108.413mph 1:19.1968s + 0.5154s (10 laps)
11. #67 Josef Newgarden (H) 108.218mph 1:19.3398s + 0.6584s (8 laps)
12. #12 Will Power (C) 108.100mph 1:19.4268s + 0.7454s (8 laps)
13. #15 Graham Rahal (H) 108.007mph 1:19.4952s + 0.8138s (14 laps)
14. #16 James Jakes (H) 108.003mph 1:19.4977s + 0.8163s (11 laps)
15. #9 Scott Dixon (H) 107.999mph 1:19.5009s + 0.8195s (7 laps)
16. #55 Tristan Vautier (H) 107.920mph 1:19.5590s + 0.8776s (12 laps)
17. #6 Sebastian Saavedra (C) 107.866mph 1:19.5990s + 0.9176s (17 laps)
18. #78 Simona De Silvestro (C) 107.862mph 1:19.6014s + 0.9200s (12 laps)
19. #18 James Davison (H) 107.645mph 1:19.7624s + 1.0810s (14 laps)
20. #11 Tony Kanaan (C) 107.466mph 1:19.8950s + 1.2136s (10 laps)
21. #14 Takuma Sato (H) 107.415mph 1:19.9330s + 1.2516s (12 laps)
22. #77 Simon Pagenaud (H) 107.304mph 1:20.0155s + 1.3341s (11 laps)
23. #83 Charlie Kimball (H) 107.046mph 1:20.2088s + 1.5274s (10 laps)
24. #20 Ed Carpenter (C) 107.020mph 1:20.2279s + 1.5465s (13 laps)
25. #97 Lucas Luhr (H) 106.087mph 1:20.9336s + 2.2522s (11 laps)

Total Laps: 259



Related Pictures

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Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates on the podium after coming first in the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile - Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media.)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, wins the pole position Saturday, August 3, 2013 for Sunday`s Indy 200 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Hunter-Reay`s 124.385 m.p.h. lap was just two-hundredths of a second off the track record. (Photo by Phillip Abbott for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay at the Sonoma open test - Wednesday, August 21 2013 (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon sprays the champagne in Victory Circle following his win in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon with a victory kiss from his wife, Emma, following clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, after winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Joining him on the podium is Charlie Kimball, driver of the #83 Novolog Flexpen Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 who finished third. Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon - 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion - Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates with team mates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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